Gambling Addiction Treatment and Counselling

Gambling Addiction (otherwise known as Addiction involving gambling) is Addiction that is manifested by a compulsion or lack of restraint to repeatedly gamble despite it causing negative consequences to the person’s physical, mental, relational and financial well-being.  Gambling takes many forms including Internet gambling, casinos, slot machines, betting, lottery tickets and investments.  Gambling Addiction can lead to grave financial consequences, as large amounts of money can be lost very quickly. Gambling Addiction can involve symptoms of obsession, rumination, compulsion, difficulty being alone, low self-worth, escaping or numbing uncomfortable feelings (i.e. loneliness, boredom), and isolation. The behaviours are the same seeking of escape, reward and relief that people struggling with Addiction involving substances experience.  There are significant consequences to these behaviours for those seeking Gambling Addiction Treatment and Counselling and there is an inability to stop the behaviours without help in spite of a desire to do so.

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, memory, motivation and related circuitry.  Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations.  Addiction is about differences in brain functioning where the substance use or behaviours are recognized as consequences of the disease.  Addiction is a single condition-Addiction is Addiction- rather than describing “addictions”. This is the reason that we use the language of “Addiction involving…”

Addiction is characterized by:

A.  Inability to consistently Abstain
B.  Impairment in Behavioural control
C.  Craving
D.  Diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviour and interpersonal relationships and
E.  Dysfunctional Emotional response

Addiction involving gambling is a chronic medical condition. Some of the main characteristics of Addiction involving gambling include:

  • An overpowering feeling to gamble
  • Gambling more often or for longer periods than intended
  • Feeling annoyed by others criticizing your gambling
  • Hiding or lying about how much you gamble
  • The inability to consistently abstain from gambling

Gambling Addiction Treatment

At Health Upwardly Mobile, we provide outpatient, continuing care for Addiction.  All new clients initially undergo our comprehensive assessment. It is recommended that all appointments be done on separate days to optimize the opportunity for you to talk openly and honestly with each professional and learn incrementally through each interaction.  A comprehensive treatment plan will be developed throughout this process and shared with you as the assessment progresses. By the final assessment session, recommendations will be discussed, which will provide guidance regarding ongoing services at HUM, which includes individual counselling and group therapy.  Referrals to external resources will be done as needed.

As Addiction is a primary, chronic brain disease, continuing care and Gambling Addiction Treatment and Counselling are necessary to optimize an individual’s health and wellness andreduce relapse risk. Social and peer support is also important and participation in 12-step groups may be encouraged. In addition, other recovery actions such as meditation, journaling, a balanced approach to exercise and nutrition may be some of the recommendations provided as part of the bio-psycho-social-spiritual framework of recovery for Gambling Addiction Treatment and Counselling.